A Head of My Time

Business goes social web...

Uh oh...move over Facebook and LinkedIn, the business world has entered the social web. I know quite a few people who work for large companies that have adopted internal social web pages. I've heard about the managers who've been asked by their manager why they were not "connected" or "friended" by their employees.

I've always been an early adopter and was blogging in the late nineties, getting the idea from one of the original well known blogger, Andrew Sullivan. Prior to that I had already been through BBS, ICQ, forums and other internet communication tools. Early on in this past decade I adopted the new social web services and instant messaging platforms that got eaten up by other big internet names. Then along came YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare; by the middle of last year I was done with Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, StumbleUpon, etc. and deleted all my accounts. I enjoy the interaction on Google Reader and Buzz but YouTube and Blogger are enough for me right now.

Blogging and YouTube are considered old hat by the early adopters now and they're onto the latest platform. By now the pattern is familiar...early adopters take to a service, it becomes popular and the latest craze, gets bogged down by the noise of the masses and the early adopters move on. Personally I believe that the social web platforms as they exist now are pretty much in place and there will not be much more innovation and new social web services. Rather the ones that exist will morph and continue to grow and develop. The reason I still blog and make videos for YouTube is I like the challenge of continuing something considered outmoded by faddists, that actually is still relevant, keeping it current, alive and well. I now tend to view early adopters as people who think they're cool with short attention spans. They don't stick around to develop and achieve on a lasting platform.

When LinkedIn first started I saw the value in it and when I was invited to join their site I accepted the offer. Little did I realize how the social web would catch on and that later business would adopt the concepts and when that happens, you know that a conception has not just become mainstream, but has been co-opted by "The Establishment.". So now my life has come full circle to this...the company I work for has now introduced a social web site. Having seen the value of LinkedIn, although the mainstream social web services became too time consuming for me, I see the worth of participating as an early adopter of this tool for work. My perspective is that it is another method of networking to be used at work just as the phone, texting, instant messaging and email is a way to build working relationships with others in my company. We'll see how it goes.